Mobile developer alleges competitor stole multiple gameplay mechanics and design elements for their own title
Mobile games are released so rapidly and respond so organically to market trends that many gamers and industry watchers have stopped so much as batting an eye when suspiciously-similar titles crop up in the wake of a big hit. But mobile powerhouse Glu Mobile thinks that rival studio Hothead Games' recently crossed the line from imitation to copyright infringement - and now they're taking them to court.
GamesBeat reports that Glu has filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco against Hothead, claiming that their popular military-sniper title Kill Shot lifts everything from tutorial, marketing, controls, interface, item-pricing and virtual economy from their Deer Hunter 2014. According to Glu's president of publishing, Chris Akhavan, even his company's mistakes - like a a miscategorized rifle - have been "ripped off" by their competitor. They're also claiming "trade dress infringement," i.e. copying a games appearance to confuse consumers.
At this time, the developer is only alleging a "reskinning" of their game, and have not yet determined whether the source code was copied directly. Glu is being represented in the lawsuit by Jennifer Lloyd Kelly, who represented Candy Crush Saga's King in a similar suit in 2013. "We have never initiated a lawsuit like this, and have never seen anything on this scale. We are also puzzled why they chose to go this route. It's shocking how they went about it," Ahkavan says.
Hothead Games has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
Source: Venture Beat